Last Wednesday I had an email from my former employer asking me to contact them as soon as possible. The email sounded desperate, and was marked high priority, so I promptly phoned the number that was listed in the text of the email just to see just what was up. To my surprise, or let me re-phrase that, as I anticipated, it was call for help with their server, and they needed to know what some of the routing that had been done to the network before I left.
I was almost ready to go into my I.T. roll, but I held back my willingness to help. I instead asked that they should seriously consult their current man who was still working for them in the I.T. department. Long story short, I was let go due to economic reasons, so my layoff was a permanent result of this downturn, and it was sudden, but they paid me out for only one week for the lay-off. My former boss was not amused when I told him that was far too busy to deal with minor problems. He slammed the phone down before I could hang up on him.
I changed my mind becuase my former boss always took advantage of people’s good will and their charity, and mostly never returned the favour when those people asked for help back in return. I had fallen to this “charm” in the past myself, and promised to never again fall victim to it again.
Ethically I can defend this argument on many levels. Since I am not a charity, my former employer will have to rely on the old fashion way of trading his profit for sweat-equity to gain his means. Since I know that there will be no return on my goodness of heart, he would profit from my expertise while I stand penniless–“a good heart does not feed the belly.” Had this been a friend, or someone who was not in it for money gain, I would have gleefully helped in a moments notice.
I responded to the email, “Please do not email again for these matters….” And pressed Send.
I felt so awful after that. I really did. Not becuase I stood my ground, but I felt so sorry for these people. What is this country turning into?